Predicting maternal aspirations for their children's education: the role of parental and child characteristics

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The current study investigates the nature of maternal educational aspirations and factors that influence mother's aspirations for their children's education in the preschool years. Data were drawn from the Growing Up in Scotland Survey (N = 1999). Findings showed that while majority of mothers (74%) held high educational aspirations for their children, a substantial proportion (12.4%) only aspired for their children to attain high school education and below. Consistent with hypothesis of the transactional model (Sameroff & Mackenzie, 2003) used in this study, both parental (socioeconomic status, household size and age) and child characteristics (birth order, gender and conduct problems) significantly predicted mothers’ aspirations for their children's education. The educational and policy implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Early online date17 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • parental educational aspirations
  • preschool children
  • transactional model
  • social and cultural reproduction theory
  • Scotland


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